The Sixth Annual Moab International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, March 1-3 at Star Hall. Denise Felaar and Nathan Wynn founded the festival because, “We wanted to go to the movies and we didn’t want to see the movies that were showing,” said festival cofounder Wynn.
“We wanted to bring something to Moab for the wintertime, was one of our original thoughts. More importantly though, is what our mission statement says and that is to make a difference in the community,” Wynn said. “The films we show, all of them have some type of message that contributes to society in some sort of positive way.”
As the festival’s name implies, this year’s selection of films have international appeal with powerful, humanistic themes. “Shoplifters,” a Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner from Japan, asks the question: What is a ‘normal’ family? The Palme d’Or is Cannes’ top prize.
“Running for Good,” is a documentary about a runner from the United Kingdom who was told she would never walk properly. “Fig Tree” is a coming of age story with the civil war in Ethiopia providing a dramatic backdrop.
“‘Shoplifters’ is going to make you cry … I like the style of it … the story is a really good story, but the style of it is what attracted me. It’s got a real Japanese style and ‘Shoplifters’ exemplifies the finest example of cinematography. It’s just fantastic. Awesome stuff,” Wynn said.
The Moab International Film Festival receives many submissions every year, but you do not have be a big time, established producer or director to get in. According to Wynn, not every entry is worthy of display, but every submission is watched.
People come from far and wide to be a part of the festival, but the festival still retains its grassroots characteristics. “First year we did multiple screens and we were just competing with ourselves.” We present one film at a time. We focus on quality rather than quantity. We’re only three days, but every film you’ll see is top-notch,” Wynn said.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the Back of Beyond Book Store in Moab. It is advisable to research the films prior to purchasing tickets.